Copenhagen Declaration


According to the Copenhagen Declaration, poverty is a condition marked by a severe absence of essential human needs like food, water, shelter, sanitization, information, and education. More than half of the world's population lived in poverty, according to a 2001 estimate by the World Bank, and 21% of people lived in extreme poverty. A policy targeted at reducing poverty must be implemented due to the large number of people living in poverty. The international human rights treaty serves as the foundation for poverty strategy. These human liberties are essential for everyone, both as an individual and as a group. These rights cannot be guaranteed if almost a billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. International and national economic and social policies must be directed towards eradication of extreme poverty. The goal is to create social and economic policies that advocate for the unconditional reduction of extreme poverty. The policy on poverty is important to social work as it is a major concern for social workers. The social workers are often pushed to extreme poverty as some of them have been excluded or marginalized, and others lack resources. In their daily practice, social workers are used to dealing with poverty. If necessary actions could be taken, it would be easy to eradicate poverty through educating social workers and social planning.

Social Problems Caused by Poverty

A social problem is an issue that affects a considerable number of people in society. Introduction of a policy on poverty was necessitated by major social problems such as increased mortality rates. This is due to the limited available resources. Children who are born and grow in poverty suffer frequent, more persistent, and severe health problems, and some eventually succumb to death. Increased death rates, especially among children, are due to a lack of proper medical care and as a result of malnutrition and lack of safe drinking water. According to UNICEF, 27-28 percent of children in developing countries are either stunted or underweight. Furthermore, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Apart from that, some of these children develop unpreventable physical and mental disabilities. Infectious diseases continue to claim the lives of the poor across the world. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria claim the lives of most poor people in developing countries. Inadequate access to safe water is also another major social problem faced by the poor. These lead to massive deaths among children as a result of diarrhea. Extreme poverty also causes homelessness which carries with it a particularly strong set of risks for families, especially the young ones. Homeless children are less likely to receive proper nutrition and immunization. For this reason, they experience more health problems.

Global Agenda and Evolution of Poverty Policy

Poverty issue is at the top of the global agenda according to the UN autumn agreement 2015. Early on, a few years ago poverty was seen as an inevitable situation. Poor people are seen to have no potential other than just being poor; for this reason, poverty would persist. Some used to argue that poverty is necessary for economic growth since without it, no one would work on the farms. The antipoverty policy dates back to well over 100 years ago. For over a period of many years, ways to combat poverty have been considered. The role of this mission is to increase the awareness and understanding of poverty in influencing government policies to tackle poverty. The policy on poverty was initiated by the government to tackle the big and increasingly growing poverty levels among the citizens. Increased levels of unemployment are one of the major causes of increased poverty. The policy on poverty was aimed at eradicating poverty in society. The policy is founded on major social and economic problems such as unemployment.

Research and Policy Implementation

Over the years, research has been conducted with the aim of eradicating different forms of poverty such as child poverty, health, education, and the spatial distribution of poverty. The early focus and improvement of data collection and research on poverty established a strong evidence base for future anti-poverty initiatives. The causes of poverty are structural, and there is a role for every department in the government in tackling poverty. The antipoverty policy included creating a persistently robust growing technology. This would aid in removing material constraints on the freedom of individuals to pursue their own economic interests. This changes the people's mindset on poverty. It is no longer seen as an inevitable, natural condition but as something that could be eliminated once the policies are put into place. This transitional thinking led to the government aiming at ensuring that all individuals have access to essential material needs. This is the most important requirement for equity and a major key to breaking out of poverty. The policy on poverty came to be viewed as a matter of both protection and promotion.

Government's Role in Poverty Eradication

According to this policy, for the next generation to escape poverty, there is a need for the government to provide proper healthcare for all, quality public education systems, and well-functioning economic structures such as market systems. This will greatly contribute to the future eradication of poverty for the next generation despite the high wage bills. There was much struggle experienced by people whose aim was to ensure the adoption of the policy on poverty by the government. This led to the formation of civil-rights movements, labor movements, and political coalitions, all with a common objective of alleviation of poverty through a policy on poverty. The movements' objective being to fight chronic poverty, many people sacrificed their liberty and even put their lives in imminent danger aiming to achieve the only objective. The policy came to be implemented as most of the people in the population were regarded as poor and the increased awareness. The awareness that poverty is not a crime and it is not a permanent condition. The poor people and the people directly affected by poverty were the major groups of people fighting to ensure the adoption of the poverty eradication policies. They had to their advantage the various fronts fighting towards achieving a common goal. Successful application of the policies took time to evolve, and some were mediated by politics. At first, most nations opted for implementing partial antipoverty policies where success in these policies would mean that it is possible to fight absolute poverty. Also, success in the partial antipoverty policies would give way for the implementation of full policies and cover broader areas. The progress of these initiatives has often been slow, and some have even collapsed in mid-implementation. However, today we can't fail to recognize the major steps that have been taken against the eradication of poverty.

Progress and Challenges

Unlike in the past, when poverty was seen as an inevitable condition and even sometimes criminalized, today we can acknowledge that there has been progress. Many of the people who were against the adoption of this policy were the rich and some of the powerful people in the government. They were against this policy since they feared that the majority of people would be rich and there will be no people to work on the farms. Since the year 2000, there has been a great leap forward in the journey of eradicating poverty. The developing world has been reducing extreme poverty at a commendable rate of 1% point per year. If this rate can be maintained and or elevated to a higher percentage, elimination of absolute poverty would take a shorter time span. It should not, however, be assumed that due to the rapid development and improvement of the economy in the developing countries, that the rate of progress against poverty will be sustained. There is a need for the introduction of modernly formulated poverty eradication policies.

Government's Role in Poverty Eradication

The policy on poverty is expected to be a way to minimize and finally eradicate absolute poverty in society. Eradication of poverty would, in return, help to alleviate some of the major social problems which are mainly caused by poverty. Some of these social problems include family problems, poor health, inadequate education, poor housing, homelessness, as well as increased crime rates and victimization. Regarding family problems, the poor are more likely to face family problems such as domestic violence and divorce. Poor families are exposed to even greater risks due to their inability to access proper medical attention in cases of health problems. The poor are at a greater risk of having many kinds of health problems. Some of these problems are infant mortality, adult mortality, physical and mental illness. The poor are also very likely to receive inadequate healthcare and inadequate nutrition leading to malnutrition, hence increased exposure to contracting other kinds of illnesses. These health conditions push them to absolute poverty for generations as some become very unproductive economically and academically. Such a family is deemed to poverty for generations due to the inability to work as a result of disability caused by lack of access to proper medical care. Children from poor families typically go to schools with inadequate facilities, while some do not even attend school. Schools with inadequate facilities lead to inadequate schooling of the poor children. These children are less likely to attend high schools or go to college. Their lack of education limits them and their family to poverty. (Moore, 2009)
In terms of housing and homelessness, poor people are more likely to live in poor housing facilities, while some are even homeless. Poor families are less likely to afford a house and hence spend half of their income on paying rent. The money spent on rent could otherwise be used to improve their livelihoods. Most of the street crimes, burglary, homicide, and robbery can be accounted for by poor people who steal to pay their bills. Coincidentally, this kind of crime is faced by the poor people as they are also the ones who live in such neighborhoods. The policy on poverty is expected to cover the previously discussed problems in order to successfully combat poverty. There are several statements in the poverty eradication policy. The policy outlines recognition of the international bill of human rights. These rights cannot be guaranteed with the current number of people living in poverty. The policy advocates for social and economic policies aimed at the reduction of absolute extreme poverty. It also advocates for collaboration of the government, civil society groups, and non-governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, to come up with strategies aimed at the reduction of poverty. The policy on poverty also advocates for collaboration among poor people and the use of community organization skills as well as social work efforts to eliminate extreme poverty. The international federation of social workers reaffirms that poor people have the right to organize and promote social and economic development strategies to enable them to fight poverty in their families.

Government's Role in Poverty Eradication

The government has the greatest task in poverty eradication and the implementation of policies for poverty eradication. The government's policy on poverty is meant to cover the absolutely poor people and help to lift them from their condition. It is meant to provide the poor with a favorable environment for fighting poverty. As discussed earlier, this policy has to incorporate the social and economic policies and strategies for a successful achievement of its goals. (Russell, 2011) Some of the economic policies that are put in place to reduce poverty in society include the reduction of unemployment, progressive taxation, sustained growth, and increasing economic benefits to the poor. Promotion of economic growth means that the income of society is increased. This, in turn, reduces the number of poor people in society. Creation of more job opportunities reduces the rate of unemployment in society and this makes a big front in fighting poverty in society. The government has the task of creating jobs for its citizens. Progressive taxation is another way of reducing poverty. This model of taxation ensures that each individual is taxed according to how much income they earn. This reduces possible cases of overtaxation of the poor and hence condemning them to even worse poverty conditions.
The government should also ensure the elevation of minimum wages. This would ensure that even the person earning the least amount of wages is able to meet their basic human needs. With the above economic policies and strategies, the policy on poverty can now be successfully implemented. The implementation of this policy, however, requires massive collaboration among the government, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The policy is meant to cover all the extremely poor people and middle-class citizens. This policy also targets the poor children and orphaned children in society. The expected outcome and goals of the policy on poverty are to eradicate absolute and extreme poverty among the citizens. (Waldogel, 2010) This goal can be achieved by providing adequate educational facilities and affordable medical care for all individuals in society. Creation of job and employment opportunities could also help attain the goal of poverty eradication.
The expected outcome of these policies is that each person has access to basic human needs and affordable secondary human needs. Also, each family can afford a home and pay the required bills. The government plays a major role in administering the policy on poverty. However, the government cannot succeed in implementing the policy alone. The collaboration of NGOs, the private sector, and international bodies is required to achieve the goals of the policy. Both the national and international bodies operating in the nation should initiate a strategy for eradicating poverty and improving poor people's livelihoods. (Grusky, 2011)The government, non-governmental organizations, international bodies, and the private sector all have the mandate to fund the policy. The government should seek collaboration from these bodies to ensure the success of the policy. The policy is funded through government grants, donations from non-governmental organizations, as well as donations from well-wishers in society. These bodies should work together to effectively ensure implementation of the policy.
The policy on poverty has had major progress and some setbacks too. The success of the policy has been achieved through placing eradication of poverty at the core of all development strategies. Some of the ways in which the policy has succeeded are through the government providing affordable education and medical facilities. The non-governmental organization has also played a major role in fighting poverty through providing relief food to the poor.
The policy has also failed in that still, a good number of people suffer in poverty. Quite a number of people cannot afford proper housing facilities and proper medical care. Still, there is a high number of people, mostly children, dying per year due to hunger and lack of safe drinking water. These children are also deprived of their right to education and proper medication. Successes and failures of the policy on poverty are represented in the charts below.
Failure – high cost of living in major cities
(Jessica L Semega, 2016)


Poverty is a menace that needs to be dealt with by all possible means. All human beings are entitled to basic human rights as per the international bill on human rights. Poverty deprives some of these people of these fundamental rights and exposes them to great risks. The introduction of poverty eradication brought light to the fight against poverty. There have, however, been a lot of setbacks in this progress. This leaves a high percentage of the world's population vulnerable to the risks and dangers posed by poverty. The government should input resources towards fighting poverty. Social development and economic policies should be put in place, all having a mutual objective - the eradication of poverty. Non-governmental organizations and the private sector should also put viable efforts towards the eradication of poverty. Despite the setbacks, there has been noticeable progress in fighting poverty. The government should aim at increasing the consistency of this fight and formulating new policies to curb arising setbacks.



Bank, W. (2005). World Data Indicators. Poverty data.

Deaton, A. (1997), The Analysis of Household Surveys, Baltimore, and London: John Hopkins

University Press.

Dollar, David and Art Kraay (2001), ì Trade, Growth, and Poverty. Retrieved from:

Elbers, C., Lanjouw, J.O., and Lanjouw, P. (2001) Micro-Level Estimation of Welfare Policy

Research Working Paper No. 2911, World Bank, Washington D.C.

Foster, J.E., Greer, J. and Thorbecke, E. (1984) A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures,

Econometrica, 52, 761-776.

Grusky, D. W. (2011). Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy.

Hentschel, J., Lanjouw, J.O., Lanjouw, P. and Poggi, J. (2000) Combining Census and Survey Data to Study Spatial Dimensions of Poverty: A Case Study of Ecuador. The World Bank Economic Review. Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 147-66.

Jessica L Semega, K. R. (2016). Income and Poverty in the United States of America.

M., R. (2013). How long will it take to lift One Billion people out of poverty?

Moore, K. B. (2009). Children in poverty.

Russell, J. (2011). Double Standard. Social policy in Europe and the United States.

Waldogel, J. (2010). Britain's war on poverty.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price